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18 school holiday activities in Christchurch

Read our guide to the top holiday activities in Christchurch for an entertaining spring.

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It can be easy for the young ones to get bored while school’s out. As a parent or caregiver, it’s usually up to you to provide enough entertainment so the kids don’t go crazy.

Christchurch is a beautiful place to be in the spring, with many outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family as well as options for rainy days. Check out our guide to the top school holiday activities in Christchurch so you won’t run out of things to do.

Top things to do during school holidays in Christchurch

Less than $50 | School holidays activities in Christchurch

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve from Klook

Observe and learn about a range of New Zealand wildlife with admission to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. Kids have the chance to feed some of the animals and can take a guided donkey ride.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Location: 60 Hussey Road, Northwood
  • Ages: All ages
  • Price: $12 (child 5-14), $32.50 (adult), 0-4 free
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Hanmer Spring Thermal Pools Day Pass

Hanmer Spring Thermal Pools Day Pass from Klook

With 15 outdoor pools, waterslides, a spa, picnic areas and a cafe, Hanmer Springs is an ideal day trip from Christchurch for the whole family.

  • Duration: All day - opening hours are 10am - 9pm
  • Location: Hanmer Springs, 90 minutes from Christchurch
  • Ages: All ages but children under 8 must be supervised at all times
  • Price: $18 (child 5-15), $31.50 (adult), $80.10 (2 adults + 3 children)
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Forest High Ropes and Ziplining Adventure

Forest High Ropes and Ziplining Adventure from RedBalloon NZ

Swing, climb and fly your way through the treetops on this three-hour aerial obstacle course.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Location: Spencer Park, Christchurch
  • Ages: No age restriction but children must be at least 1.4m tall. Children 16 and under must be supervised
  • Price: $30 (under 18), $41 (adult)
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Christchurch Gondola

Christchurch Gondola from Klook

Get 360-degree views as you head up the Port Hills in a gondola. At the top, you can explore the different walking tracks or take a ride through the Time Tunnel.

  • Duration: 10-minute gondola ride + 1-2 hours to explore
  • Location: Bridle Path Road, Heathcote Valley
  • Ages: All ages
  • Price: $13.50 (child 5-16), $27 (adult), under 5s free
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More than $50 | School holidays activities in Christchurch

Penguin Encounter - family pass

Penguin Encounter - family pass from RedBalloon NZ

Along with admission to the International Antarctic Centre for the whole family, you’ll have your own Antarctic Ranger guide and a backstage penguin tour.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Location: Near Christchurch Airport
  • Ages: 6 years and over
  • Price: $229 (2 adults and 3 children)
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Paintball Experience for 10

Paintball Experience for 10 from RedBalloon NZ

Round up your kids and their friends; this experience is for up to 10 people. Each person gets 200 balls to play their way through various game zones while suited up in full protective gear.

  • Duration: Up to 8 hours
  • Location: Mcleans Island, Christchurch
  • Ages: 10 years and over
  • Price: $200
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Family Port Hills Zipline Adventure Tour

Family Port Hills Zipline Adventure Tour from RedBalloon NZ

The whole family can get in on the action with this exhilarating zipline tour on the Port Hills. You’ll be racing along at heights of up to 1,100 metres, so it’s not for the faint-hearted.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Location: Port Hills, Christchurch
  • Ages: No age restriction but must weigh between 27-125kgs
  • Price: $350 for 2 adults and 2 children (single tickets available)
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Down Hill Mountain Biking Apprentice Lesson

Down Hill Mountain Biking Apprentice Lesson from RedBalloon NZ

Your teenager can learn how to master the downhill trails at Christchurch Adventure Park with an experienced instructor.

  • Duration: Allow 90 minutes
  • Location: Christchurch Adventure Park
  • Ages: 13 years and over
  • Price: $80 (13-17 years), $95 (18+)
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Free things to do in Christchurch during the school holidays

  1. Play at Margaret Mahy Playground, the largest playground in the southern hemisphere.
  2. Spend a day at New Brighton where kids can spend hours on the ocean-themed playground before taking a cooling dip at the beach Take a stroll out on the 300m long pier and watch the fisherman bringing in their catch.
  3. Check out the fighter jets at the Air Force Museum.
  4. Pack a picnic and head to Spencer Park for the day. There’s plenty to keep the kids busy with a paddling pool, an adventure playground, a small animal enclosure and a few walking trails.
  5. Grab your togs and head down to the paddling pool and playground at the Botanic Gardens.
  6. Chuck the bikes in the boot and drive to Bottle Lake Forest. Here you’ll find a range of biking trails with varying difficulties, so kids of all ages can have a go.
  7. Take a day to explore The Groynes with its many walks, playgrounds and fishing areas. You can download a map and do one of two orienteering courses.
  8. Learn about the history and culture of New Zealand by visiting the Christchurch Museum.

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